Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Ghost story

Some residents of the neighborhood near Lower Phantom Lake appear to have extrasensory perception. Others simply sensed that this would be an extraordinary place to live. The quiet, shady neighborhood is a rare find in Waukesha County — homes in the $120,000-to-$150,000 range that have access to sparkling lake. Large homes, too.

Read More »

Wales of an Area

Those who seek nature in their backyard can certainly find it in the rolling wooded Lochtyn Ridge subdivision in the village of Wales. Twice, however, nature has given residents much more than they bargained for since the subdivision was created in the late 1970s. Tornadoes touched down in the same area of the subdivision once in April 1984 and again in August 1987, destroying a row of homes.

Read More »

The hills are alive with joy

Town of Delafield — The Hills of Delafield is about as close as a Waukesha County subdivision gets to resembling the Colorado Rockies. With its steeply sloping lots, panoramic views and scores of towering spruce trees, the neighborhood differs from most newer subdivisions, which are typically built on the flat fields of former farms where the tallest thing around is an abandoned silo. Colorado and blue spruce trees are everywhere in the Hills of Delafield: lining the subdivision’s roads, filling corners of backyards and towering from the five landscaped islands that dot neighborhood streets.

Read More »

City boosts access for those with disabilities

The City of Milwaukee has abandoned 17 polling sites that are not accessible to people with disabilities, and has made improvements to others, such as ramps and special doorbells, in time for Tuesday’s election. “At this point, 99% of our sites are accessible,” said Neil Albrecht, assistant director of Milwaukee’s Election Commission. “I think voters will see a significant difference.” Residents who used to vote at the 17 inaccessible sites have been assigned to new locations.

Read More »

Polling sites told to lift barriers

This “watchdog” story idea came to me while covering budget hearings in various communities, which were under mandate to purchase handicap-accessible voting machines. I uncovered the fact that an appalling percentage of Wisconsin’s voting sites had significant physical barriers for the elderly or disabled that prevented many citizens from voting, new machines or not. I focused on the City of Milwaukee for this piece, which drew reader mail from as far away as South Dakota, and which led to positive action on the city’s part.

Read More »

City bans phosphorus in fertilizer to aid lakes

Oconomowoc joins others in state acting to improve water quality. Concerned about the proliferation of weeds and algae in its chain of lakes, Oconomowoc has banned property owners from using phosphorus to fertilize lawns in what one official said is a regional trend.

Read More »

City seeks upgrade in rescue services

New Berlin hopes to hire 19 more paramedics; some EMTs take offense. In one fell swoop, by juggling city funds this year – and counting on voters to approve future tax increases – the city is about to upgrade its rescue services to rival that of larger urban areas.

Read More »

Bank branches proliferate in state

Although gloomy news about the nationwide banking industry has dominated recent headlines, new bank offices have proliferated in Wisconsin in the last few years, both statewide and in metro Milwaukee – and there’s little sign of easing up. As of June 30, just-released statistics by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. show that Wisconsin has 2,389 bank offices, compared with 2,116 in 2000 – a 13% increase. From 2000 through the end of 2007, the state’s population increased only about 4%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Read More »

He hopes checks stimulate donations

Bishop asks churchgoers to give 10% of rebate. A bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is asking churchgoers in southeastern Wisconsin to consider donating a portion of their economic stimulus checks, which the federal government plans to begin mailing next month.

Read More »

New Berlin OKs water deal

The cities of New Berlin and Milwaukee are now in agreement over extending Lake Michigan water to another chunk of New Berlin, as the New Berlin Common Council voted unanimously late Tuesday to approve the deal. Aldermen expressed unhappiness about paying $1.5 million to Milwaukee and at the prospect of raising local utility rates to cover infrastructure costs. But they agreed that it is the most cost-effective solution to the radium problem in the city’s well water.

Read More »